The Future of NATO?

NATO is at a crossroads. Since the end of the cold war NATO has been trying to reinvent itself to give it meaning in the 21st century. Since 1990 NATO has re written its strategic concept twice as the 90’s has seen NATO only beeing involved in the European Area. But since the rewtrite of their strategic concept in 1999 more reference of ‘out of area’ activities have taken place.

A major problem for NATO is over dependence on US military resources. The European Pillar of NATO did have the resources it self to launch of the majority of the sorties against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo conflict. Programs to help the European pillar of NATO have not bourne many fruits as investment in defence by Canada and the European Allies is pitiful compared to amount invested by the USA. NATO cannot function in this way. Parity between the allies is needed.

NATO-led missions have also proven to been succesful, SFOR, KFOR and IFOR are all successful opperations. The Partnership for Peace has allowed non-alligned countries to train with NATO armies so that there troops may be successfully integrated on UN missions and NATO led peace-keeping missions.

Enlargement is also a major issue for NATO. The number of memebers have sweelled recently but the accession of certain states will cause a massive headache for NATO in its relations with Russia. The Ukraine which has long wanted memebership of NATO and the EU is major woory here just like when the Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania applied.

In my opinion theres needs to be a major think in at NATO headquaters to see how things can be improved. As things stand the US is spread thinly on the ground and it is impossible for NATO to launch any new operation within Europe or ‘out of area’. NATO needs to address the following:

  • Investment parity
  • Interoperability
  • Enlargement
  • Over dependence on the US military
  • Then and only then can NATO assume the role it can and will play

    Author: Stephen

    Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for and UCC Express.

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